Adrian Clarke looks at tactical battles set to take place in Matchweek 3.
"It’s more difficult than it looks because sometimes on the pitch I also want to run forward and to help the attack as well and even score a goal, but when you’re playing in that position it’s not always possible so you have to keep the balance between the attackers and the two No 8s and the defence."
He may be operating in the centre of a midfield three, but Wijnaldum is not a combative ball-winner.
He has won just two tackles and made only one interception across the opening 180 minutes of the campaign.
Instead, his job is to keep the ball moving as smoothly as possible.
Taking limited touches, the 27-year-old is excellent at helping Liverpool pull opponents around with their fast-tempo passing.
He is a quick and efficient distributor of the ball.
|Pass accuracy in opp half||90.1%|
|Long pass accuracy||100%|
Wijnaldum rarely looks to find Liverpool’s front men directly.
His focus has instead been on spreading early balls to Liverpool's attack-minded full-backs.
That has helped left-back Robertson create five chances already, the second-highest number of any Premier League defender.
On the other flank, Alexander-Arnold has delivered 16 crosses from open play, the joint-highest figure in the competition alongside Benjamin Mendy.
|Firmino, Mane, Salah combined||7|
This Liverpool side can hurt Brighton & Hove Albion in a range of ways at Anfield on Saturday.
Their front three pose an obvious and varied threat, particularly when breaking at speed.
Keita and Milner, the two midfielders either side of Wijnaldum, also have the dynamism and guile to cut through the lines.
And out wide, their full-backs cross with quality.
Staying compact will form a large part of Chris Hughton’s strategy.
To prevent Robertson and Alexander-Arnold having a big influence on this encounter, the service to them will need to be stemmed at source.
Failure to do this will result in a difficult evening for the Seagulls.